Rethabile Shabalala

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Email from parties not binding on arbitrator

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) upheld an arbitration award that was challenged by the buyers of shares in a company, who argued that the arbitrator had ignored their suggestion to hold a separate hearing on one of the claims. The SCA found that the suggestion was not binding on the arbitrator, and that he … Continue reading

The sanctity of contracts must be counterbalanced with the constitutional principles of dignity and equality

This blog was co-authored by Lesego Moloisana, Candidate Attorney. The Applicant was the registered owner of commercial property. On 04 November 2021, the owner of commercial property cancelled the lease agreement and later changed the locks on the premises after placing the lessee on terms for arrear rentals. The lessee contended that the cancellation was … Continue reading

The importance of complying with the prescribed procedure for cancellation of contracts

The appeal court has set aside an order granted against the appellant for breach of contract. The parties had concluded an Implementation and Support Services Agreement in terms of which the appellant was paid to implement software for the respondent. After the implementation of the software, the respondent complained that the after-services provided by the … Continue reading

Negligence claim for slip-and-trip on restaurant ramp not proved and rejected

The plaintiff failed in her action against a takeaway restaurant for damages resulting from her slipping and falling while walking down a tiled ramp at the restaurant’s exit. The court, besides applying the disclaimer notice, was not satisfied that the plaintiff had discharged the onus resting upon her to prove that the restaurant had failed … Continue reading

A new intervening cause absolves electrical contractor from liability for injury

The plaintiff and her minor child resided in a sectional title complex. On 10 September 2015, while helping his mother wash her car, the plaintiff’s son was electrocuted whilst trying to open a tap outside a unit. The occupier of that unit had requested improvements to be done to her kitchen wherein several contractors were … Continue reading

Shop owners need to reasonably protect their patrons

The High Court in Gqeberha has confirmed that the shop owner has the legal duty to take the reasonable steps to prevent harm to its patrons and to take the reasonable steps to warn customers of potential dangers. Whilst shopping at the store of the defendant, the claimant, slipped and fell due to cake flour … Continue reading

Condonation granted where no prejudice proved

A plaintiff who suffers damage usually has 3 years within which to sue the defendant. But a claim against the State must be notified within 6 months of an incident occurring. This notification comes before the summons is served. If a claim is not notified within this time period (set out in the Institution of … Continue reading

You can’t take judicial notice of the behaviour of kudus – need expert evidence

Is the behaviour of kudus so clearly established and common knowledge or so easily ascertainable that it does not require evidence to be proved? No. A trial court’s decision to take judicial notice of the behaviour and reaction of kudus was overturned on appeal. A court takes judicial notice of a fact without hearing evidence … Continue reading